UNC heart Armando Bacot, earlier than re-injuring ankle, makes NCAA Match historical past in last vs. Kansas

USATSI

Armando Bacot’s ankle damage was a critical concern for North Carolina coming into Monday night time’s nationwide championship sport towards Kansas, and it ended up coming to a head within the last minute of the 72-69 loss when he went down onerous on it once more. However the Tar Heels’ heart posted a legendary first half earlier than that.

Regardless of clear limitations, Bacot racked up 12 factors and 10 boards in that first half alone as UNC took a 40-25 lead into the break. He additionally bought each of Kansas’ facilities, starter David McCormack and backup Mitch Lightfoot, into foul hassle.

Within the course of, he grew to become the primary participant to ever publish six double-doubles in the identical NCAA Match. He reached 31 double-doubles for the season, which is tied with David Robinson for school basketball’s single-season document.

Bacot completed the sport with 15 factors and 15 rebounds, however the damage within the last minute precipitated him to overlook the tip of the sport. He misplaced his footing with 49 seconds left and Kansas main 70-69. The Jayhawks confirmed sportsmanship and didn’t make the most of a 5-on-4 alternative, permitting Bacot off the court docket earlier than reseting and finishing the win.

Bacot first injured his ankle in UNC’s 81-77 victory towards Duke within the nationwide semifinals on Saturday. Earlier than Monday’s title sport, he was seen going via his personal specialised warmup as a substitute of finishing the same old pregame warmup routine together with his teammates. He gave the impression to be strolling gingerly whereas making an attempt to get free.

However as soon as the sport started and Bacot was free, he helped the Tar Heels dominate within the toughness-related classes. Within the first half alone, the Tar Heels constructed an 18-2 edge in second-chance factors. His play drew the reward of coach Hubert Davis throughout his first-half in-game interview.

“He is doing terrific,” Davis mentioned. “I am so happy with him, 50% or 2%, him on the ground is nice information for Carolina basketball.”


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